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Iron-Magnesium Phyllosilicates in Gale Crater
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Iron-Magnesium Phyllosilicates in Gale Crater

Acquired Date: July 4, 2014
Release Date: May 16, 2014
Latitude: -6.18 N
Longitude: 137.78 E
Keywords: Crater Interior/Rim/Ejecta, Landing Site, Hydrated Mineral, Phyllosilicate minerals, Dichotomy Boundary
Parameters: BD1900R/BD1950 (H2O), BD2210 (Al-OH minerals), D2300 (Fe-Mg phyllosilicates)

This image shows iron/magnesium-bearing hydrated minerals called phyllosilicates in pink. Phyllosilicates are clay and clay-like minerals formed by chemical reactions with liquid water. They are very thin (microscopic) stacked layer crystal forms, also called sheet silicates. The CRISM team took this image to search for interesting minerals in Gale Crater in preparation for the Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity) rover mission. The small unnamed crater shown here exposes phyllosilicates in its ejecta that were most likely underground prior to impact.



This image shows iron/magnesium-bearing hydrated minerals called phyllosilicates in pink. Phyllosilicates are clay and clay-like minerals formed by chemical reactions with liquid water. They are very thin (microscopic) stacked layer crystal forms, also called sheet silicates. The CRISM team took this image to search for interesting minerals in Gale Crater in preparation for the Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity) rover mission. The small unnamed crater shown here exposes phyllosilicates in its ejecta that were most likely underground prior to impact.

Gale Crater is situated right on top of what is known as the dichotomy boundary, which is the feature that separates the northern lowlands (green/blue in the global image) and the cratered southern highlands (orange/red). The northern lowlands are mostly covered with young sediments while the southern highlands contain very old terrain and multiple craters. Gale crater has a regional slate towards the north where the dichotomy boundary change in elevation (from 3km to 1km) can be seen.

Link to further description of the spectral parameters shown in this image can be found here.

Disclaimer: Colors shown here represent indicators of mineralogy and are not what the human eye would see.

Acknowledgements: THEMIS, MOLA, CRISM, Google Earth.

The Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) is one of six science instruments on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Led by The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, the CRISM team includes expertise from universities, government agencies and small businesses in the United States and abroad.

CRISM's mission: Find the spectral fingerprints of aqueous and hydrothermal deposits and map the geology, composition and stratigraphy of surface features. The instrument also tracks seasonal variations in dust and ice aerosols in the Martian atmosphere, and water content in surface materials — leading to new understanding of the climate.

Credit: NASA/JPL/JHUAPL

   

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